Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Someone's listening... 

And not long after I publish my screed against credit cards and their usurious rates, comes this bit of encouraging news
Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is introducing "The Loan Shark Prevention Act" - a legislative package designed to prevent the worst abuses by credit card companies and commerical banks. The bill has three very simple provisions:
1. Cap interest rates at 8% above what the IRS charges income tax deadbeats. Currently, the cap would be 14%, the same level that the Senate approved by a 74-19 vote in an amendment offered by Sen. Al D’Amato in 1991.

2. Cap bank and credit card fees at $15, instead of the astronomical late fees that are now regularly assessed.

3. Ban the credit card interest rate bait and switch. Credit card companies are doubling or tripling the interest rates of consumers even though they always paid their credit card bills on-time. The reason? Maybe they were one day late on a student loan payment three years ago. Maybe they took out another loan for a medical emergency. Or maybe they did nothing wrong at all. Today, credit card companies can raise rates for any time for any reason. This bill would restrict that.

I don't think it goes quite far enough in capping the interest rates (I think prime rate plus 2% is plenty enough for those greedy bastards), but the rest of it is a very, very good start.

If you agree, contact your representative and let them know. Rep. Sanders's statement is here. To him I say, bravo. Nice to have an elected official who's working for the voters and not his corporate masters.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?